Formula 1 team principal silly season was providing the sport with unexpected moves last month, with Mattia Binotto, Jost Capito and Fred Vasseur being amongst those to leave their post as their current employers.
One move that took fans by surprise was Andreas Seidl’s move from McLaren to Sauber, with the German set to come the team’s new CEO rather than replace the Ferrari-bound Fred Vasseur as team principal.
With the Audi project coming in 2026, it is an exciting time to be a part of at Sauber, meaning that the chance to spearhead the team’s development ahead of Audi’s takeover may have been one that is too good to turn down for Seidl.
McLaren endured a slow start to the new era of Formula 1 last season, dropping a position in the championship behind Alpine as they failed to take advantage of the major changes in regulations that came into effect at the start of the year.
The team from Woking aim to have a new state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility operational at some point next year, meaning that while they may be behind schedule, McLaren are still on course to return to title contention in the not-so-distant future.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has defended his team’s progress, claiming the Seidl left for Sauber for his own reasons, not because he was frustrated with McLaren’s progress towards their long-term ambitions.
“I don’t think that was in his decision, because these [facility upgrades] are around the corner,” said Brown.
“He can speak for himself but, in my conversations with him, I think it was more about the opportunity.
“He also wants to be a CEO, and that opportunity doesn’t currently exist at McLaren. So I think it was more about the opportunity as opposed to the lack of opportunity at McLaren.”
McLaren have chosen to keep the continuity in the team ahead of the 2023 season, promoting Andrea Stella to team principal rather than appointing someone from the outside.
This decision has reportedly gone down well with the staff and drivers at McLaren, with Stella being a highly rated and respected member of the team, who learnt most of his trade with some world class talent at Ferrari.
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri embody the team’s potential for a bright future, as McLaren continue to build a strong and competitive future in the new era of Formula 1.